—- Andrés Iniesta praised both Barcelona and the newly-re-crowned Spanish champions’ supporters as he bid an emotional farewell after 22 years at Nou Camp after a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.
The 34-year-old, who lifted the trophy for a ninth time, said: “I will move on and carry you all in my heart forever. It’s been a wonderful 22 years, full of pride, and it’s been a pleasure to represent this club. I thank you for all the love and respect that you’ve given me since I arrived as a child. I now leave as a man.”
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde provided the opportunity for an appropriate crowd tribute by substituting him late in the game.
Valverde said: “We wanted to compete and win but today was Andrés’s day and the crowd made it special.
“I wanted to change things at the end of the game, to coincide with Leo [Messi] on the field. It was the right moment. These types of players will be talked about long into the future. They are unrepeatable, historical players that everyone will remember.”
Iniesta received a hug from all of his team-mates as his 669-game career at Barcelona came to an emotional end as he passed his captain’s armband on to Messi.
Philippe Coutinho’s goal eight minutes into the second half was the perfect way to end Barcelona’s season in style.
Fernando Torres brought the curtain down on his Atlético Madrid career with two goals but it was not to be a victorious farewell as Eibar earned a 2-2 draw.
Captaining a second-string Atlético side playing four days on from their Europa League final success against Marseille in Lyon, Torres soon cancelled out Kike Garcia’s 35th-minute opener just before the break.
He rolled back the years with a fantastic run and delicate finish to score on the hour but his team-mate Lucas Hernandez was sent off three minutes later and Atlético had to battle on with 10 men.
Eibar quickly made their numerical advantage count, with Ruben Pena hammering in a long-range strike to equalise with 20 minutes remaining.
Torres was denied a dream ending when an offside flag ruled out another effort and the striker finished his career for his boyhood club with 128 goals in 404 matches over two spells.